The Monkees by The Monkees, released in UK in 1967 on the RCA Victor label, value £40

A CLASSIC vinyl album should never be solely defined by a high monetary value, writes MICHAEL BROOKS. Admittedly, some do demand a high purchase price mostly because they are so hard to find, others have a low cost value mainly because they sold over millions of copies and are still obtainable. Every recording we own, simply because we love the music and cannot bear to part with, is in effect, a classic album.

Introducing The Monkees as a collectable band may come as a surprise to many people, but with only two surviving members still alive, their records are gradually increasing in value. In 1966 an advert appeared that read 'Wanted! Folk 'n' Roll musicians, singers for acting roles in new TV series, running parts for four insane boys aged 17-21; spirited types with courage to work hard, must come for an interview.' There were 437 applications, one of them who was turned down was Charles Manson who later became a mass murderer. The successful applicants, Micky Dolenz, Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork and Davy Jones had to perform character roles in a TV series that was intended as America's answer to The Beatles, as portrayed in the films A Hard Day's Night and Help! The TV series was a worldwide success but The Monkees were greeted with scepticism by the rock fraternity. The quartet may not have played the instruments on this, their debut album, but this did not diminish the appeal of its content. It became the first of four consecutive number one albums that eventually sold five million copies confirming the band as a teenage phenomenon, drawing inevitable comparisons with The Beatles. Yet the facts speak for themselves, in 1967 alone they sold 35 million records outselling The Beatles and The Rolling Stones combined. They went on to sell a total of 75 million in less than three years. It was once remarked that "anyone giving the band serious coverage must be looked upon with some suspicion." But The Monkees do deserve some respect. They did go on to play on future recordings and both Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork were acknowledged as fine guitarists. After all, they made lots of people happy with their music and humour. This album remains as a stunning introduction of a band that dominated the latter half of the sixties.